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OC Register: Kole Calhoun home run ends long drought, helps Angels avoid home sweep


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    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dino Ebel after hitting a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, hits a solo home run with Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino watching during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM – Kole Calhoun had the count in his favor, and an 0-for-28 streak working against him, when Nick Vincent pumped a 3-and-1 fastball off the outside corner in the seventh inning Sunday. The Angels’ right fielder did not like the pitch. Umpire Ryan Additon did, calling it a strike despite the dubious daylight separating the ball from the outside corner of the plate.

Perhaps primed for a pitch in the same spot, Calhoun did not make the same mistake on 3-and-2. He swatted a home run to left-center field for a home run in a tie game. That made the difference in the Angels’ 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners before the announced crowd of 35,578 at Angel Stadium.

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Calhoun’s 19th home run of the season was the ultimate blow in a game decided by home runs.

The Angels were trailing 1-0 when Justin Upton hit a three-run home run over the right-field line against Marco Gonzalez in the third inning. Upton, who hit two home runs in defeat Saturday, has four homers in his last four games.

Seattle tied the game in the very next frame. After Kyle Seager singled against Angels starter Jaime Barría, Mariners designated hitter Dan Vogelbach pummeled a first-pitch fastball into the bleachers for a two-run home run. Vogelbach was a last-minute substitute when Nelson Cruz was scratched due to illness.

The score was still tied 3-3 when Calhoun hit his first home run since Sept. 1.

That made a winner of Angels reliever Taylor Cole (2-2), who pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Barría while striking out three batters. Ty Buttrey struck out the side in the ninth inning to pick up his third save.

Mike Trout got a rare day off. Rookie Michael Hermosillo started in center field and went 1 for 2 with a double before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

The Angels (74-76) avoided being swept at home in a four-game series for the first time since June, and for the first time at the Mariners’ hands since 2005.

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